What happens when Google starts offering degree courses?

Google are getting into selling music:
BBC News – Google unveils Android-based online music store,
which will presumably, over time, start to threaten the dominance of Apple and iTunes. It will be interesting to watch how this market develops… Arguably Apple’s renaissance owes much to the iPod, iTunes, and the associated stash of credit card details that Apple built up. The iPod led to the iPhone, and the rest is (recent) history. However, Apple’s head-start in the mobile market is beginning to be eroded by Google’s Android. And now in the latest episode, Google’s new music store will assist in the erosion.

The situation won’t change overnight, and clearly there are no guarantees for success. But this initiative got me thinking…

Google has such scale and digital dominance that it is able (and willing) to step into any market. So what happens when it decides that it can offer degree courses? It will be able to provide an online experience that melds Google Apps, Gmail, YouTube, Google+, video chat, and other elements into a comprehensive and potentially compelling offer. The service will be mobile-friendly, cheap, flexible and socially-enabled. Traditional universities will have much that is better and of higher quality, but will they be able to compete in the new commercial HE environment?

I’ve only just had this thought and it needs further development. Perhaps we’ll conclude that Google can’t really offer a compelling alternative and that the threat isn’t real. However, I would argue that the idea is still worth considering – a scenario in which Google are competitors to universities could be a worthwhile thought exercise which would catalyse internal debate and encourage innovative responses.

In the meantime, Computing Science students might be interested in: http://code.google.com/edu/courses.html

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One Comment Add yours

  1. The Ed Buzz says:

    I think as more people enter the arena the experiences and authenticity will be enhanced. It will be scary at first , but in the long run awesome.

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